Tuesday 23 July 2013

Italian nanny for the new Prince of Cambridge

We have no doubt that the Italian people will be nodding their heads in encouragement at the news that 42 year old Antonella Fresolone has been selected for the much sought-after post as governess to the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and there new, yet-to-be-named male charge. Little has been made of the story thus far in the British press, as every journalist and photographer worth their salt are hanging on news of the baby's name and the first public appearance.

The Italian press have shown obvious delight, however, that the future king of England should be brought up by an Italian. Undoubtedly they will cite his future health and vigour as a natural reminder of the benefits of Italian cuisine, which we wholeheartedly agree with! Signora Fresolone, although unmarried and without children, is by all accounts an excellent cook.

Signora Fresolone has been in the service of Buckingham Palace for 13 years, and according to some reports is considered by the Queen herself as one of the three preferred domestic servants. It would appear therefore that the Queen wishes only the best for her latest and, perhaps, most important grandchild to date. We wonder if the young Prince of Cambridge will grow up bilingual, or will his 'tata italiana' be under strict instruction to stick to classic royal vowels??

Friday 12 July 2013

40 years of Umbria Jazz

One of Italy’s most prestigious and famous festivals has opened its arms to jazz lovers for the 40th time in its history and is currently celebrating four decades of music in the Umbrian city of Perugia. 

The festival was initiated back in 1973 by Carlo Pagnotta, a local Jazz enthusiast who remains the artistic director to this day. Pagnotta, along with the Italian musician Renzo Arbore who is the president, continue to head the event that has become one of the most important jazz venues in the world. 

Back in 1973 nobody would have imagined the importance this festival would have on the music scene, and not only in Italy; today it is a well known and world esteemed event. The thought of hundreds of jean clad ‘hippies’ descending en masse onto the streets of 70’s provincial Perugia is an interesting one and they must have caused a flurry of concern amongst the local inhabitants who were probably unused to guitar toting, denim clad individuals sleeping in ancient doorways. 

With a brief break in the late 70’s early 80’s Umbria Jazz has attracted a whole host of starry names too numerous to mention. In recent years the festival has changed and no longer concentrates on Jazz alone, hence names such as Chet Baker, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughn and Dizzy Gillespie have been supplanted by Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Elton John, Sting and the artist formally known as Prince.  

Miles Davis

Thursday 11 July 2013

XVII Umbria Film Festival

The seventeenth edition of the Umbria flim festival started last night with the keys to the city being handed over to Stephen Frears. The beautiful Umbrian hill top town of Montone was jam packed with film goers and a lively and enjoyable time was had by all. If you are in the area Montone is well worth a visit anyway, but the added attraction of watching a film under a starry sky and seated in an adorable little piazza is not to be missed. Download the Film Festival Catalogue  and see what treasures are in store over the next few days. Probably the best idea is to book a table at the L'Antica Osteria so that you have a comfortable seat for the entire evening; it means that you don't have to struggle to the bar in order to get a re-fill or an ice-cream!

During the course of the event you are bound to see a few faces that you recognise, and some faces that can be put to names that you know. Terry Gilliam, Mike Figgis and Ken Loach are regulars and in the past John Hurt, Saffron Burrows, Colin Firth and Ralph Fiennes have also been guests.

If you fall in love with this beautiful little Umbrian town and the surrounding area Abode has a selection of real estate properties to choose from, for example Villa Cresce and Casa Montecastelli are both glorious examples of meticulously restored farmhouses.